Governor, DWD Host Local Event Addressing Workforce Challenges
HAYWARD —Gov. Tony Evers today, together with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board,hosted a “Winning with Wisconsin’s Workforce” forumhighlighting key investments and strategies to boost workforce participation and help employers meet their needs for well-trained and highlyskilled workers.
The event comes after the governor earlier this week announced he is calling a special session of the Wisconsin State Legislature at 12 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2023, to complete their work on the 2023-25 biennial budget and pass a meaningful, comprehensive plan to address the state’s longstanding, generational workforce challenges. As part of the special session, Gov. Evers is proposing to invest over $1 billion using a portion of the state’s readily available $4 billion budget surplus to prevent a looming collapse of the state’s child care industry and ensure child care is affordable and accessible for working parents and families, expand paid family leave, invest in higher education to help educate, train, retain, and recruit talented workers, and support targeted solutions to workforce challenges in high-need areas, specifically the state’s healthcare and education workforce sectors. More information about the governor’s workforce plan is available here.
“With already historically low unemployment and high workforce participation, coupled with a shrinking labor pool, we need to invest in meaningful, comprehensive, and long-term solutions if we want to remove barriers to employment and prevent our existing workforce challenges from being exacerbated into an unmitigatedcrisis,” said Gov. Evers. “Our administration has been hard at work elevating workforce development efforts and identifying available resourcesthrough the ‘Winning with Wisconsin’s Workforce’ event series, but at the end of the day, without additional state investments, the challenges that have plagued our state for generations will continue. In the coming weeks, we must work together to bolster our state’s workforce, maintain our economic momentum, and most importantly, do the right thing for Wisconsin.”
Hosted in partnership with the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University, the event is part of a statewide series announced in January to bring attention to workforce development initiatives, available funding, resources to aid competitiveness, and local successes with worker recruitment and retention. The Hayward forum was the first in the current quarter’s theme focused on workforce participation and strategies such as apprenticeships, teen employment, work opportunities for people with disabilities, job center resources, and more.
Joining Gov. Evers at the event were DWD Deputy Secretary Pamela McGillivray, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University President Dr. Russell Swagger, Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board Director Mari Kay-Nabozny, and other speakers.
“Collaborations with Wisconsin’s regional workforce development boards, educational institutions, and economic development partners are successfully connecting employers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to resources that boost local talent pipelines and support economic growth,” said DWD Deputy Secretary McGillivray. “Through these forums, we are partnering with stakeholders to help guide future workforce investments and services.”
Previous Winning with Wisconsin’s Workforce rounds focused on key labor market data and information on workforce development resources available to remove barriers to employment. Subsequent events will highlight efforts to build workforce capacity through technology and training.
The series is held in partnership with the state’s 11 regional workforce development boards. The boards offer integrated business service teams that work with employers to recruit qualified workers, retain well-trained employees, access workforce planning resources, and build staff diversity through a broad pool of skilled job candidates.